Pima basketball uses 21-2 run to beat Coastal Alabama North to open NJCAA Tournament

Raymond Suarez
4 Min Read

The Pima Community College women’s basketball team (24-8) opened play in the NJCAA Division II Tournament on Monday at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center in Joplin, Mo.

The No. 13-seeded Aztecs produced a big run at the beginning of the third quarter to pull away from No. 20 Coastal Alabama Community College -North 78-49. The Aztecs move on to the second round and will play on Tuesday at 9 a.m. (CDT); 7 a.m. Arizona time.

The Aztecs led 39-27 at halftime but the Coyotes (19-12) cut it to a single-digit deficit with a three-point play to begin the third quarter. Sophomore Dominique Acosta (Nogales HS), who went scoreless in the first half, netted her first bucket, which sparked a 21-2 run in the next five and a half minutes as Pima took a 60-32 advantage. Acosta scored eight points during that stretch. Pima outscored Coastal Alabama North 24-10 in the third quarter. The Aztecs led by as much as 30 points two occasions in the second half.

The Aztecs were up 20-12 in the first quarter but the Coyotes closed it out with a 9-2 run as Pima clinged to a 22-21 lead.

Freshman Gabby Lopez (Bisbee HS) set the tone in the opening minutes of the second quarter, scoring five straight points. Fellow freshman Rylei Waugh converted on two three-point play opportunities on back-to-back possessions capping off an 11-0 run as Pima went up by double digits at 33-21. The Aztecs outscored the Coyotes 17-6 in the second quarter.

Waugh finished with a team-high 16 points on 7 for 10 shooting to go with five rebounds while Lopez scored 11 of her 12 points in the first half. She also grabbed six rebounds, had five assists and two steals.

Acosta scored all 12 of her points in the second half and was 6 for 8 from the field. She completed the double-double with 11 rebounds to go with two assists.

Sophomore Jordan Joe and Taina Lee combined for 17 of Pima’s 27 points off the bench. Lee finished with nine points as she was 2 for 3 from beyond the arc while Joe contributed with eight points after going 2 for 4 from downtown.

“The key to our 21-2 run in the third quarter was definitely our energy, pushing the ball and playing hard,” Lopez said. “It feels really good to get this first game out of the way because we got the feel of the court and the environment. We also got all of our nerves out of the way. Our first game was super fun and exciting and we’re ready for tomorrow.”

The Aztecs are back on the court Tuesday when they play No. 4 Community College of Baltimore County Essex (CCBC Essex).

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Raymond Suarez , www.tucsonsentinel.com
Sports news | TucsonSentinel.com , 2024-03-18 18:50:39
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